Page 5258 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 15 November 2011

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In addition to these technical amendments, the bill repeals the Evidence Act 1971, which is largely redundant on the establishment of the territory’s new Evidence Act. While repealing the bill, the bill preserves the operation of a small number of provisions previously in the act which remain necessary despite the new Evidence Act. These provisions deal with evidence of probate or administration and the use of interpreters for witnesses giving evidence.

The bill also repeals provisions from the Civil Law (Wrongs) Act 2002 which deal with the way expert medical evidence is received and treated in court. The provisions set out the way in which the court controls the receipt of expert medical evidence, the assessment of its admissibility and the treatment of evidence given by experts.

These provisions are being repealed because this body of law is more appropriately made at the court rules level, where the remaining rules concerning expert witnesses are found. Rules are currently being developed by the rules committee to replace the repealed Civil Law (Wrongs) provisions. The bill includes sufficient safeguards to ensure that the provisions are not repealed until the rules have been made. This will ensure that the transition from the existing law to the court rules is a smooth one.

The removal of this body of law and the introduction of rules governing this area of the law will enable better integration of court processes and also enable the court to be dynamic in responding to trends in this area.

The amendments in this bill will see the ACT take the final steps in the development of the territory’s own stand-alone Evidence Act. The reforms that have been introduced in the Assembly this year underline the government’s commitment to the principle of uniform evidence law and have provided an opportunity to update and consolidate evidence law in the territory. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 (No 3)

Debate resumed from 27 October 2011, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (10.32): The Liberal opposition will be supporting the third justice and community safety legislation amendment bill for 2011. This bill makes minor, non-controversial amendments to legislation administered by the Justice and Community Safety Directorate. Eleven acts are amended by this bill.

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